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Return of Swampy's Memoirs


Lord Swampy
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That's right! After keeping you waiting just over one full month, the next edition of The True Life Journal of Lord Swampy is here. My sincere apologies for the delay. Real Life had been very time-consuming for the last month between anniversaries, holidays, work, and poor health. I wasn't just sitting on my hands, mind you.

For those who forgot or missed the first two pieces, this is a continuation of a multi-part series wherein I chronicle my history in Digiterra, which happens to also tell a lot about the history of the Legion and important events that shaped her development as an alliance. I've seen and done a lot in three years of CN, and as much as this is my venue for telling stories of what I've experienced, it's moreover my written record of what on earth happned to me so I don't forget it. It's extensive and goes into a lot of depth, but it isn't 100% comprehensive. This thread is a good place to talk about the parts I missed that you care about, or comment about the parts I did discuss. It's just generally a good place for feedback.

Part I detailed the early days of the Legion and my first year here.

Part II retold the story of the Legion's role in Great War 3.

This installment describes what happened between Great War 3 and the Dove War, or the war between the Legion and Valhalla. It pays particular attention to how that war happened and what kind of chaos preceded it.

When we last left our story, the Third Great War just just ended in disaster and humiliation for the Legion, and I was stepping away from CN.

Episode III - Seeing Red on Purple Sphere

The months following the Third Great War were a challenge for the Legion. For me, they were a break. I got burnt out during the war, and with heart surgery and a busy summer in store, I went on inactive leave. While I was out, I miss some internal things, like my induction into the Legion’s hall of fame, our Charter being revised, the trouble working out the reparations with NPO, et al, the development of PUPPY (later GRAPE), and the Admiralty being restructured, among much more I’d assume. I also mostly missed some noteworthy world events, like the VE war and their dissolution, CIS splitting from WUT, and whatever else went on I didn’t bother to find out about later or have since forgotten. Most notably, when I came back I saw that several of my friends and peers had left the Legion and I didn’t understand why. Atlashill, Vanshira, GunneR, and others had parted ways with us and formed Kaleidoscope. I’m still not honestly sure what exactly caused this.

Mostly, the Legion licked its wounds and worked hard to pay off the reparations to the Initiative, keep activity up, and tend to its self. Reformentia was Prime Minister then, and a fine Prime Minister he was. He tended to work behind the scenes, and as anyone who knew him could tell you, he hated the limelight. His DPM, Sinatra, was the opposite. But this isn’t a character study, it’s a reflection.

About halfway through summer, I came back. Most folks hadn’t seen much of me at all since I left in April. It was now sometime in June and the new Charter had gone through and come out the other end with new posts: Justices. I came back the night of nominations to throw my hat into the ring for a Justice post, and easily won one of three seats, with T.Hubb and Shadow winning the other two. We got our first case when nbx909 sued our Foreign Minister jazzi for some alleged shenanigans with IRC Ops and whatever else it was. The trial was, in my opinion, a farce. The allegations were almost silly, and jazzi refused to participate until I managed to berate her into actually cooperating so we weren’t forced to do something she didn’t really deserve. I felt a bit uncomfortable with how that trial ran because of my conflicted interests. Jazzi was a friend, and someone I perceived as doing plenty of good for the Legion, and I knew she had better things to do than stand trial for some IRC hogwash. I did what I could within the court system to accelerate the trial and get jazzi out of whatever red tape there was. Despite my bias, I made my decisions based on an honest assessment of the claims made in the case. In the end, nothing of real substance or consequence was decided, and I felt that the court system was not being used properly. We ended up dismissing more cases than we heard after that.

Aside from assuming my office as Legion Justice, I also had taken on a post as ambassador to the NPO, and was earnestly wanted to see things improve with us and Pacifica. In spite of the trials that had passed between our alliances, I considered Emperor Revenge a friend and hoped that if he and I could find common ground and agree on things, there was hope to actually develop something with the Legion and NPO. I wanted to see us work together, move past old disagreements, and perhaps sign of treaty of some sort. I knew it wouldn’t be anything fancy or defensive, but I thought some sort of Treaty of Friendship would be a step in the right direction. I also wanted to do something enjoyable with the NPO, like a spamming contest (the Legion has always enjoyed its spam games), but Moo and I had a comic exchange I’ll never forget.

[01:47] <Moo-Cows> we don't do spam

[01:47] <Lord_Swampy> oh

[01:47] <Lord_Swampy> :(

[01:48] <Lord_Swampy> what do you guys do for fun?

[01:48] <Moo-Cows> we kill things

While it cracked me up at the time and still does, it illustrated the very different attitudes by which NPO and the Legion operate. The Legion still just wanted to be happy, and enjoy themselves peacefully in Digiterra. The NPO simply had different goals, and a very different modus operandi.

A more serious suggestion I made to Moo and the Legion Cabinet was renewing an old agreement to which we both were still party, the For the Love of God, Think of the Children Pact. It was a commitment to a nuclear non-first strike policy espoused by a number of alliances. It was crafted a year before I suggested reconvening it, and after a year most of the signatories had pulled out or disbanded. My hope was that with NPO and Legion co-sponsoring a renewal of it, we’d get a lot of alliances following our lead and it could even help build bridges between NPO and Legion. Moo told me he’d talk it over with his advisers, and the Legion government was degrees of supportive of the idea.

Not long afterwards, Emperor Moo released a statement proclaiming the irrelevance of the FtLoGTotCC, and pulling out of it with GGA. I was dismayed and disappointed, but I was not shaken from my firm but perhaps misguided idealism.

Through the rest of June, July, and through August, I enjoyed myself as best as possible. I was an active member of the Advisory Committee in the Legion, an admin on the Legion boards, as a Justice, and just simply as a Legionnaire among friends. Swampy’s Corner was still running and as we moved through the GW3 surrender terms and restructured the Admiralty, the alliance was growing again.

One specific surrender term from the war, VL’s ejection, bothered the alliance deeply. To be honest, a significant part of the government wasn’t all that unhappy with Great Britain’s removal. The symbolic humiliation was one thing, but on the practical level, we felt that Great Britain had caused the Legion a lot of problems. He had irresponsible tendencies, didn’t regard his position as President in a fitting manner, and encouraged pathological attitudes and behaviors in the membership. When he left, he went nuclear rogue on NPO, and we washed our hands of him. We never liked seeing nuclear rogues in CN, even if they were hitting our enemies. VL, though, VL we missed dearly.

After much government discussion, we made VL an adviser. I created a mask for him, and he was able to see almost our entire internal forums, except the private Cabinet Discussions. I only gave him posting privileges for our public areas and AC Discussions area, though; the risk of an accident was too great. We knew that our NPO overlords wouldn’t be thrilled if they found out, but we felt that making him an honorary adviser was quite different from him being a member of the alliance or government, and didn’t violate terms. In this way, we were able to hold onto one of our most beloved old Legion leaders, and VL continued to be of slight influence in the AC. I always sensed that he felt estranged though, and I suspected he was growing despondent at his situation—a visitor in what should have been his own home, bound by the chains of silence and persecution.

It was July or early August, and the Legion foreign policy was largely concerned with purple unity. Purple Unity Pact of Pure Yes (PUPPY) had been passed by most alliances, but not all. It was a tough situation. The Legion wanted Purple Sphere to have a solid, unifying treaty, and for it to be meaningful. I think most of the sphere wanted that. The problem was we just weren’t there yet in terms of our relationships. There were a few friendships here and there, but the sphere was dissonant. PUPPY was what happened when that goal was attempted before it was ready to be achieved.

Tensions continued to mount, most notably between Valhalla and the Legion. We had a Treaty of Amity, but it was tenuous at best. That fell apart when a Valhallan, Doland Grimnoir, left or was ejected from Valhalla. He came to the Legion seeking admittance. noWedge told us not to accept him. A fair request, by all accounts, if it had proper justification. We asked why not, but noWedge refused to provide a reason beyond his clear dislike for him we could sense. The Legion government didn’t feel that some foreign power should be dictating to us who we could and couldn’t accept without justification, especially when all noWedge had to do was explain even a little bit of his reasons—but noWedge wasn’t one to explain himself to others. We let Doland in, and noWedge cancelled the ToA. We were perturbed, but it was clear to us noWedge was just looking for an excuse to cancel on us so he could claim whatever moral high-ground.

Internally, we had restructured. The government decided it was high time to trim some bureaucratic fat. The government talked over ideas, and I remember an important conversation I had with Reformentia about some major changes. There were two in particular we went over: the League of Nations and the financial state of the Legion. We needed Charter amendments, and he was to head one while I the other. And so it was: I led the push to install the Legion Bank, a much needed separate system to oversee all our monetary transactions and development. Yes, somehow even more than two years old, the Legion had no banking system. It was all run under the Home Ministry, but I felt the need to create something to stand alone and take care of business. I planned it out, ran some drafts by our Quartermaster or Chief Financial Officer, and created the Legion Bank by Charter amendment.

Ref wanted to wait on his part until he was out of office, and I understood why. We were going to axe the League of Nations and as Prime Minister centralizing more power, he just felt uncomfortable with the idea. I didn’t like that I’d have to push for it under my own term for the same reasons, but it was necessary and one of us had to do it. So we bided our time, and I began creating the bank’s structure in cooperation with Gene L, a good buddy of mine who was high up in our preexisting meager finance wing. Our plan seemed pretty good, and relied on a fair number of people contributing a little bit each to make a lot of banks and prevent the financial crisis that we experienced during GW3.

August reared its head in earnest, and that meant elections were approaching. I had gotten just a bit of wind of what might be in store for the Legion, but didn’t nearly grasp the full scope of what was coming. I decided that before real life got busy again, I should take another go-round at Cabinet, this time as Prime Minister because Reformentia was stepping down. I didn’t expect much competition for the job, honestly. My Legion resume was extensive, and only one other Legionnaire had anywhere near the respect and admiration from the alliance I had but Ref would be too busy IRL to handle the job. Sinatra, however, disagreed. He was gearing up for what he thought would be an incredibly close PM race. He joked about it to me frequently, but I couldn’t bring myself to dash his expectations of an even match. I was a bit concerned only because his popularity with the young members was powerful.

It wasn’t to even come into play though. Because of a foolish mistake transgressing election law, Sinatra and a candidate for Foreign Minister, Karl Marx, were disqualified by our election chair. Sinatra was immensely indignant and mad, resigning from the Legion in a rash move. He reapplied hours later and tried to take back the Deputy Prime Minister seat, but this was a problem. He left the alliance and couldn’t come back into government just like that. Reformentia approached me and offered me the job, explaining what had went down with Sinatra. He also warned me that trouble was brewing fast. Behind the doors of the most private forums, our Cabinet had been talking about a growing sense that we were about to have major problems, violent problems, with Valhalla. We hadn’t been approached by them about it, but the word on the street from those in the know was that they were going to hit us during our election cycle, when we were most vulnerable.

We were the ones who went to Valhalla and asked if there was a problem, having heard so many consistent rumors about trouble. noWedge was vague and repulsed our efforts at democracy several times over. Things got worse as Reformentia went on a vacation he had booked long ago, and time was short as I was promoted to acting Prime Minister. Having had a decent rapport with noWedge before he left the Legion, I was optimistic that a solution could be found. It wasn’t, and like previous attempts at peaceful resolution, noWedge responded with insults and thinly veiled threatening hints. With avenues for amicable solutions closing and the clock ticking, I went to Emperor Moo with our Foreign Minister jazzi to discuss what was going on. From that conversation we learned what causus belli lay in store for us: spying.

Immediately we set about an investigation, trying to figure out why they thought this, who they thought was spying, asking Valhalla to share evidence with us so we may find our spy and handle the problem. I had only one idea what they could be talking about, and it was a lead from back in the third Great War. I mentioned earlier being too busy then with the war to follow up on our discovery that USNN was spying on the Legion, taking screenshots of our boards and passing them along. He was caught because he was a terribly spy, and hosted images on a Photobucket account named USNN of all things. :eyeroll: We got the tip off about him though, from a Valhallan who was formerly in the Legion, Jack8377. I looked back over PMs from months earlier, and we tried to piece together what little we had. We wanted to figure out what it was we were missing and what could be going on right under our noses. The Cabinet had no idea what was going on, and we were frantic.

Slowly, things came into focus. We realized who the tip came from, who it went to, and who heard about it along the way. We started looking at who had connections to Valhalla and started investigating with the most recent one: Doland Grimnoir. It didn’t take long before we found connections between him and Jack8377. We pushed our luck, did some homework, and finally confronted Doland about it. He didn’t understand at first that what he did was spying, or even wrong. But jazzi and I explained to him that accepting information from the private sections of another alliance’s boards and not doing anything about it was unethical and equitable to spying. Our hope was that when confronted with the truth, he’d go along quietly and leave for the good of the Legion. He took a bit more convincing then that. As per our policy of separation between IC and OOC, I explained to him that he could leave, be ZI’d for his crime, reroll later, and come back to the Legion. Odds were unless he caused problems again, we’d not even know it was him. By this understanding, he agreed, confessed, and we had our spy caught and ejected—no thanks to noWedge.

I posted an announcement on the OWF that the Legion had found and dealt with a spy in our midst. I reaffirmed our stance against spying and implored any alliance that had an issue with us or believed a similar case was as yet unsolved to come to us and work with us to fix these problems. I thought the matter was handled rather well, if stressfully, on our part given the total lack of help from Valhalla. I even dared to relax for a minute or two.

Silly me.

Throughout the history of Digiterra, those bent on the Legion’s destruction have rarely been stopped by things like truth, integrity, and attempts at civil problem-solving or bridge-building. This would be no different. Within an hour of my announcement, I received a phone call from one of my ministers directing me to the announcement I had made. It had been trolled to death. I had posted some logs from the conversation with Doland and apparently they seemed too scripted. I was accused of forging logs and jokes were made about me being Shakespeare, the dialogue being a play, yadda yadda. No one cared to believe that I actually talk rather formally and frankly when in serious conversations. No one, that is, save for the one foreign party in that thread to come out and testify publicly in my defense: Zulchep of STA. But it was too little too late. The damage done, the announcement discredited, and our work done for nothing, we realized we saw the writing on the wall. Such organized and dedicated displays of slander and mockery of alliance leaders cleaning their own house rarely do not precede a thrashing.

I confronted noWedge again, furious and anxious. What did he want from us? We found, exposed, and were ZIing a spy we previously had no idea existed. We made a public apology and reaffirmed our stance against spying. We had gone to great lengths to make right a problem Valhalla refused to even explain to us. What more could an alliance in our situation do when all attempts to talk had been met with aggression and spurned?

Preparing for war was the only option. But the timing could not have been worse for us. During our election week, the Legion’s attention is almost totally consumed by our exciting democratic process. Democracy gets knocked a lot in CN, but we liked ours very much and delighted in the chance for ordinary Legionnaires to become extraordinary leaders of the new term. Our electoral process was time consuming and involved. In this period of transition, I knew we would be attacked. Valhalla, remember, was made almost entirely of former Legionnaires who knew what we were like during elections, and knew that we were weakest when the new government was just being elected because all the new ministers would come into the Cabinet not necessarily knowing what was going on at the top levels. As unfortunate as that was, sadly enough, it was not the biggest problem.

The major problem was that it was the middle of August and the Cabinet was stretched very thin again by absences—this time vacations. There were only five of us to begin with, and Reformentia was gone off backpacking for several weeks, almost totally unreachable. I was about to go on a pre-planned vacation myself for several days to the beach. Mr.AdmiralX, our Minister of Defense, was very busy with work so he could take time off; he was about to go on a trip. On top of that, Jazzi, whose health was poor, was in and out of the hospital. It was Saturday night, the situation was grim, and I had only hours left before I departed for the beach.

Talks with noWedge went nowhere—he claimed there was another spy in the Legion that the Cabinet knew about and Doland was only our fall guy, but refused to talk to us beyond hurling insults and threats. NPO wasn’t going to help us out of this one certainly. We knew we were going to get hit by more than we could take, and we had but one truly close friend, ODN. It was certain Valhalla would bring as many big friends with it to the fight to make sure that even with Orrple support we’d have no chance for anything other than erasure. I spoke with Chefjoe, the Vice Regent of Valhalla then. Whereas noWedge had been a total $@! in talks, Chefjoe I found to be quite the opposite. He was friendly, and sad at the state of things. He didn’t like at all that the sphere was coming to blows.

We discussed the situation in what was by far the most productive and positive conversation I had had with a foreign leader in the past week. For hours we tried to figure out a solution, but despite his role as the second-in-command in Valhalla, he had no real power to do anything without noWedge. I tried to bargain for more time such that after the weekend I’d be back and we could straighten things out. I explained the Legion’s situation, and asked what more we could do to assuage Valhalla or stall. He would try to delay things on their end, but I knew we were toast.

In a last ditch effort to buy time so perhaps diplomacy could have a chance, I made a decision that caused much controversy in and outside the Legion. I ordered the alliance into peace mode. My rationale was that we weren’t going to get anywhere positive through war, only be destroyed. noWedge clearly wanted us gone so he could be the principle power on the Purple Sphere. The only chance we had was to prevent as much damage being done to the alliance as possible so that we had a shot at negotiations. I remembered how tied my hands were in the last negotiations after a defeat. The harder we get pounded the fewer bargaining chips we had if we wanted to have an alliance left afterwards. Peace mode bought us time and leverage. I stand by that decision. It’s not glorious, but it was effective. Ever since that decision, a huge stigma has been levied on peace mode during wartime because of the problems it causes for an aggressor, as the Legion demonstrated.

That order was the last I was able to give, and had to hope my absentee Cabinet and whoever else could carry it out to avoid destruction. The clock had run out. I worked for the Legion's safety all the way through the night up until I had to pack into the car the next morning and leave for four days. Untold darkness lay before me, and before the Legion.

As I drove off, I prayed that I would have an alliance left when I returned.

Whew. That was a long one, I know. Mind you, as the history gets more recent, my memory gets more detailed. Plus, the higher up in government I got, the more was going on around me and the more I was doing. That really should be the case though, don't you think? I decided to end this one with a bit of a cliffhanger, but we're right before elections, the Dove War, and all sorts of drama in the Legion, with Valhalla, and for the world! Join me for the next installment, Episode IV - From the Ashes to our Finest Hour (linked here when it's published). And of course, thanks for reading.

Regards,

Swampy

Edited by Lord Swampy
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We hadn’t been approached by them about it, but the word on the street from those in the know was that they were going to hit us during our election cycle, when we were most vulnerable.

"The street" meaning Vaylen, the Vice Regent of Valhalla. Ironically the best justification for the war occurred due to planning the war, almost a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I'm not even going to touch the rest of your history of the war, we've been over it enough before and needless to say my perspective was very different from yours.

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"The street" meaning Vaylen, the Vice Regent of Valhalla. Ironically the best justification for the war occurred due to planning the war, almost a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I'm not even going to touch the rest of your history of the war, we've been over it enough before and needless to say my perspective was very different from yours.

Indeed. Vaylen was passing along very good intel to Legion for awhile. He was the leak, and while it didn't feel like spying to the Legion at the time, in retrospect, it most certainly was.

That said, noWedge had no idea it was going on at the time. In fact, it was a month or so AFTER the Dove War, when I told him about that.

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Indeed. Vaylen was passing along very good intel to Legion for awhile. He was the leak, and while it didn't feel like spying to the Legion at the time, in retrospect, it most certainly was.

That said, noWedge had no idea it was going on at the time. In fact, it was a month or so AFTER the Dove War, when I told him about that.

Not quite a month, pezzy :P

He was forced out as soon as we found out - a week (maybe two) after the war ended. But otherwise, you're right, he was one of the last people we suspected. Which in hindsight, and considering his character and love of the Legion, was foolish of us.

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Not quite a month, pezzy :P

He was forced out as soon as we found out - a week (maybe two) after the war ended. But otherwise, you're right, he was one of the last people we suspected. Which in hindsight, and considering his character and love of the Legion, was foolish of us.

You're probably right. It was so long ago that weeks can easily seem like months. I will say this: At the time, Legion .gov SWORE to us that we weren't spying, and I truly believe that they thought that accepting insider information from a member of Valhalla was not spying. I've heard many definitions of spying over the years here, so I don't know if it is or isn't considered as such by today's standards. In retrospect, I think it was, at the very least, teetering on the very edge there.

There was also another source. Not in Valhalla, but very close to them, and in an alliance that was also very close to a couple of other detractors. That source, more than anyone else, even more than those in the Legion, did more to save her from several wars during the Valhalla-Legion hate period than anyone knows, even today. So thanks you. You know who you are.

Edited by pezstar
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I mentioned earlier being too busy then with the war to follow up on our discovery that USNN was spying on the Legion, taking screenshots of our boards and passing them along. He was caught because he was a terribly spy, and hosted images on a Photobucket account named USNN of all things. :eyeroll: We got the tip off about him though, from a Valhallan who was formerly in the Legion, Jack8377.

Thank you, but no. I was the one responsible for ousting USNN and getting his way in (his wife's former account, which was still masked) banned. :P I still have the logs from when my former opponent in the war gave them to me, and the logs of me giving the link to Raka.

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No one, that is, save for the one foreign party in that thread to come out and testify publicly in my defense: Zulchep of STA.

How easily you forget me, Swampy:(

Good read, man, I enjoyed the whole thing. Legion was an alliance I always had huge amounts of respect for, and I really enjoy reading about your internal workings. Keep it up!

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Not quite a month, pezzy :P

He was forced out as soon as we found out - a week (maybe two) after the war ended. But otherwise, you're right, he was one of the last people we suspected. Which in hindsight, and considering his character and love of the Legion, was foolish of us.

It certainly was interesting finding out how Legion had gotten ahold of our plans.. Shame noWedge never went public with them and we could have killed his nation properly.

Even in the face of Vaylen stabbing us in the back.. noWedge had great respect for what he had done for the alliance. IMO he was wrong to let him slope off.

Was a fun read though Swampy :D

Edited by Toga01
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See, this is why threads like this are great. I toooootally forgot about Vaylen and that business. It mostly happened before Ref left me in charge, I think. Thanks for reminding me about that Uhtred. That's a very interesting point though. If Valhalla was planning to attack the Legion for spying before Vaylen told us to watch out, and if it truly wasn't Doland, then I don't know how legit the initial CB was. On the other hand, if someone from another government tells you that you're going to be attacked by them for spying, I think it's pretty natural to confront that government about it (which Legion did), start looking all over for a spy (which Legion did ), and try to solve the problem by diplomacy. For a government member to go to an alliance and say "Psst, we've been planning to attack you for spying," and then for that to be the incident of spying to legitimize that war.... well that's just appalling and ridiculous.

Also, Zuli yes I did recall that you helped reveal USNN, but Jack8377 was also involved in that. I mentioned him in connection to the August drama and not you because we were focused on finding spies and links between us and Valhalla. Sadly, you had left the Legion long before this for STA, and had never set foot in Valhalla to my knowledge. Looking to you about this seemed rather... irrational at that point.

And Jeeoh is talking about my application to GPA which allegedly precipitated the Woodstock Massacre during my exile. And yes, that'll be dealt with in due time.

EDIT: Sorry Virillus. I wouldn't say easily though; it has been a year and a half and that was a long thread.

Edited by Lord Swampy
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